After being put to bat first, Punjab Kings didn’t have the best of starts, losing Prabhsimran Singh in the very first over. Even though there were contributions from the middle-order, none were comprehensive enough or quick enough to take them to a total, as they ended on a lacklustre 153 after 20 overs.
Gujarat flew in response, and scored at a rapid pace, thanks to the opening pair of Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha. But once Saha was dismissed, it was up to the other batters in the line-up to chase the total down, who all found it incredibly tough in the middle-overs. It was a phase where Gujarat struggled, and in particular, struggled to find a lot of boundaries.
Winning skipper Hardik Pandya pointed at that phase, stating that the team needs to go back to the drawing board, in a bid to learn from their mistakes. Alongside that, he also insisted that they need to take more risks in the middle-overs, something they were guilty of not doing on the night.
“To be very honest I would not appreciate for the game to go this deep. There was definitely a lot for us to learn from this game. That's the beauty of sports, it's never over till it's over. We need to go back to the drawing board. They bowled really well. Luckily all our batters are in good nick. We should take risks and play shots in the middle overs, need to make sure the game doesn't go so deep,” said Hardik in the post-match presentation.
Mohit Sharma made his IPL return after three years, and immediately looked home with the Titans, with figures of 2/18 in his four overs. Hardik, however, wasn’t shocked by Mohit’s performance, stating that it was a fruit of all the hard work that went behind the scenes.
“The ball was getting dried up, but the wicket was a belter. Wasn't surprised when Mohit and Alzarri were bowling. He has done a lot of hard work, he has shown patience and his time has come [on Mohit]. It would have been a tough pill to swallow if the game had gone the other side. I would like to finish the game earlier, not a big fan of taking it to the last over.”
The 34-year-old pacer was influential in Gujarat’s win, becoming the tenth different player in the last two years to earn the Player of the Match award for the franchise. Mohit revealed his chat with the skipper, stating that it was a conscious plan to stick to his variations – where he bowled into the pitch.
“I have had a good time at this venue. I thought of sticking to my variations, had a chat with Hardik in the middle overs, luckily it paid off. You need to train hard, give your 100 percent. Need to bowl according to the situation, and stick to the basics. I was given a role to bowl after 10 overs. Credit goes to the coach who has defined everyone's role in the team,” Mohit said after winning the Player of the Match.